Tirupati(AP), Feb 22 (PTI) Congress President Rahul Gandhi Friday offered prayers at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala near here. Also Read - Fact Check: Heritage Sites Including Taj Mahal to be Given on Lease by Govt? Here's The Truth Behind Viral Claim

On his arrival at the temple main entrance, Gandhi was accorded a warm welcome by the hill temple management. Also Read - Bengal, Assam Round 2 Polling Today: All Eyes On Mamata Banerjee Vs Suvendu Adhikari In Nandigram

After quickly trekking the nearly 10 km-long steep stairway leading to the ancient hill shrine, the Congress chief paid obeisance to the presiding deity of Lord Venkateswara, a temple official told PTI. Also Read - 'Unite Against BJP': West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee Writes Letter To 15 Opposition Leaders

It took about two hours for Gandhi to reach the sacred hills, the official said.

After his spiritual trek from the foot of the hill at Alipiri in Tirupati in the afternoon, the Congress president made a brief halt at a heavily guarded Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams guest house on the hill and later visited the shrine, the official said.

After prayers, Gandhi was offered sacred silk cloth, prasadam, and a holy memento, the temple official said.

He was in the temple for about 20 minutes.

Tight security arrangements were put in place on the hills and all through the route leading to the hill shrine.

Later, Rahul Gandhi left the hills to address a rally at Sri Venkateswara University Stadium here. PTICOR TVS SS

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.